Viewers moved by burns' victim story on Channel 5 makeover show

Mother, 47, who ‘stopped caring about her appearance’ after freak accident left 30% of her body covered in burns moves viewers to tears after incredible transformation on 10 Years Younger in 10 Days

  • Lisa, 47, left with third degree burns on 33 per cent of body after 2014 accident
  • The mother-of-two had been through countless surgical repair procedures since 
  • Felt caring about the way she looked would be vain because thankful was alive
  • She appeared on last night’s 10 Years Younger in 10 Days on Channel 5

An ‘inspirational’ woman who had her confidence shattered after a freak accident lead to burns on a third of her body moved viewers to tears after appearing on Channel 5’s 10 Years Younger in 10 Days last night.  

Lisa, 47, from Truro, Cornwall,  spent six weeks fighting for her life in hospital after getting burned at a family barbecue in 2014.

Speaking to the show’s host Cherry Healey, Lisa,  explained she went through countless surgical procedures to help with her mobility and she felt it would be vain to worry about her appearance, because she was lucky to be alive. 

The mother-of-two said added felt she had been ‘surviving’ since the accident and was yearning to reconnect with her old self after spending years not paying attention to the way she looked. 

The public guessed Lisa’s age as 51 – four years older than she her actual age – but the show’s experts all teamed up with special treatments used on burn victims to help Lisa feel and look her age.

Viewers absolutely loved the emotional episode, praising Lisa for being ‘incredibly strong, ‘an inspiration’ and ‘moving viewers to tears’.

Lisa, 47, explained on last night’s 10 Years Younger in 10 Days on Channel 5 that she had been though an extraordinarily difficult period after a freak accident in 2014 left her with third degrees burns on 33 per cent of her body. The mother-of-two, pictured before, left, said she wanted to reconnected with the old her. At the end of the  episode, pictured right, she said she had learned she needed to value herself even if she had changed form

‘On 10 Years Younger I’ve met a lot of people who had to deal with struggles in their lives,’ host Cherry said at the beginning of the episode. 

‘But Lisa, the next woman we’re about to meet, has had to cope with something extraordinarily difficult.

‘Can we help her move forward in her life, you bet we can,’ the host added. 

Lisa explained the accident that took place on May Bank Holiday 2014,.

‘Looking back at the accident and how it’s made me feel, it’s strange in some ways it doesn’t seem long ago at all and in some ways, it seems a lifetime ago,’ she said. 

‘It was a beautiful day and my husband and I and the two children went to my sister and my brother in law’s house for a barbecue,’ she recounted. 

‘When we got there, my youngest was asleep, I thought I would get in quick and get to the food, and there was some flammable liquid nearby that overheated and burst out of its container and caught me on fire,’ she said. 

Lisa’s husband Steve rushed to her help after the liquid took flame.  

‘I heard a great loud bang, I turned around and Lisa was walking towards me, head to toe on fire, I managed to throw her onto the ground and eventually get the flames out. 

‘But it was pretty clear that Lisa’s injuries were very severe and life threatening,’ he said, adding an air ambulance airlifted Lisa to the nearest regional burns unit where she would receive treatment. 

The mother-of-two, pictured before, was left with scarring on her chin, neck, chest, arms and down to her knees after the accident, which saw her spend six weeks in hospital recovering, before a long series of surgical procedures to improve her mobility 

‘I didn’t see her for maybe three weeks. So I didn’t know at the start whether she was alive or dead, really,’ he said. 

To kick-start her makeover journey, Lisa was subjected to the eyes of strangers and said she expected people to think she looked older than she was.

She added she wasn’t surprised when people said she looked 51 rather than her actual 47. 

‘Do you know what, it’s what I expected, it could have been lot worst,’ she told Cherry Healey. 

Talking about why Lisa was motivated to do a makeover now, she said: ‘The experts have said “that’s about as far as we can go, there’s not much more that we can do,” and it was all about mobility and repair, it wasn’t never about aesthetics, 

‘You almost feel like you’re being a bit vain and shallow for saying “it’s all very well being about mobility but what about the way I look?” You feel like you should be grateful for being alive,’ she said. 

‘It’s not a vanity thing, it’s about rediscovering myself,’ she explained. 

Cherry was excited at the idea of helping Lisa reconnect with her old self.   

‘We haven’t help someone like Lisa before and it’s a very exciting idea of watching her blossom,’ she said. 

‘It was very difficult to come to terms with that kind of accident because it was so all-consuming,’ Lisa said.  

‘Physically the scars are a constant reminder of how I’ve changed and how my life is not the same as it used to be,’ she admitted. 

‘I feel like up until now I’ve been surviving and now I want a bit more than surviving and I want to live a bit more,’ she told Cherry. 

‘If you’re not feeling confident in yourself, it’s hard to feel confident in what you’re doing,’ she added. 

What are burns and how should you treat them?  

Burns are damage to the skin caused by dry heat, such as an iron or a fire.

This is different to scalds, which occur due to wet heat like hot water or steam.

Burns can be very painful and may cause:

  • Red or peeling skin
  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin

But the amount of pain a person feels is not always related to how serious the burn is.

Even a very serious burn can be painless.

To treat a burn:

  • Remove the heat source
  • Cool with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes. Do not use ice
  • Remove any nearby clothing or jewellery unless it is stuck to the skin
  • Keep the person warm with a blanket
  • Cover the burn with clingfilm
  • Use painkillers like paracetamol if necessary
  • If the face or eyes are burnt, keep sitting up to reduce swelling

Burns that require immediate A&E treatment are:

  • Chemical or electrical
  • Large or deep – bigger than the injured person’s hand
  • Those that cause white or charred skin
  • Those on the face, hands, limbs, feet or genitals that blister

Pregnant women, children under five, the elderly, those with a weak immune system and people suffering from a medical condition, like diabetes, should also go to hospital.

Treatment depends on what layers of the skin are affected. 

In severe cases, a skin graft may be required.

‘A burn injury can really affect someone’s confidence, once we’ve managed to get that person treated following injury, we need to manage their scars,’ Odhran Shelley said. 

‘Undoubtedly, there are treatments which are not routinely practised by the NHS which maybe useful, provided that they are given by experienced practitioner,’ he added. 

The first step of Lisa’s makeover was to have her upper lip tattooed in a shade as subtle and as close to her lip colour as possible. 

Lisa, who was self-conscious about her lips, was blown-away by the results.  

‘It looks like I have full lipstick on, they look so symmetrical now, and you can just see the outline,’ she said, enthusiastically.  

‘It’s always been the lower part of my face I’ve been self-conscious about, it’s really made me more confident about that area,’ she said. 

She then had a meeting with Dr Uchenna Okoye, who set out to replace Lisa’s upper set of teeth with veneers to hide discolourations and imperfections. 

‘The lower third of your face is actually the most important in regards to how good you look, how young your look, and I now that’s something Lisa’s really concerned about,’ Dr Uchenna said. 

‘I find it so rewarding working with someone like Lisa who’s been through such horrific life experiences,’ she added.  

‘I just feel honoured to be able to make a difference, she’s going to be stunning,’ she added. 

Lisa was very pleased with her teeth, saying they ‘looked amazing,’ and she was ready for her next appointment, with cosmetic physician Dr Tapan Patel.  

‘There are so many different aspects to scars and it never ceases to amaze me how reluctant people are to ask about cosmetic improvement because they feel it’s just a vanity thing,’ Dr Tapan said. 

‘But I completely disagree, I think if that scar is causing somebody to be upset and there are treatments to improve it, why not try them out,’ he added. 

He explained to Lisa the challenge was the scar tissue on her chin, which could cause the filler not to set properly. 

Instead, he injected a small amount of derma-fillers in her lips to make them look plumper.  

Once it was done, Lisa met with cosmetic specialist Nilam Holmes, who also told her she had had experience treating burns victims with a similar type of scars as Lisa’s.  

‘Microneedling is a great treatment for somebody who has scars from burns,’ Nilam said. 

‘It’s an organic treatment where we get the body to do the work in repairing itself,’ she added. 

As well as a microneedling treatment on Lisa’s chin and chest, Nilam dyed and laminated Lisa’s eyebrow to bring more definition to her face and move the attention away from the scars on her chest. 

Make-up expert Hannah Martin then gave a masterclass on how to use full coverage foundation, colour correctors and primers and concealers to mask the appearance of scars.  

‘With scarring, texture maybe the main concern but there are lots of silica based products that will help smooth the area before you apply the make up,’ she said. 

She said that colour correctors could help if the scars were still discoloured.  

‘Theatrical make up is designed to withstand heat, sweat, long hours on set and they conceal absolutely anything and everything,’ she said. 

Lisa also admitted she had stopped going out and dressing up after the accident, and had given up on the clothes she wore. She was overdue a visit in stylist Gemma Sheppard’s workshop. 

‘I feel I’ve lost my way a little bit with fashion, I don’t make much effort anymore,’ Lisa admitted. 

‘The climax of my social life would be a lunch with a friend which means I can be quite casual,’ she added. 

Viewers were moved to tears by ‘inspirational’ Lisa and branded her ‘brave’ and ‘a lovely lady’

Gemma wanted to show that Lisa could still look confident in a casual look, by pairing basic with fun pieces. 

She put Lisa in three outfits, with high-waisted trousers, comfy trainers and silk tops, to show her how she could dress up her shape without going too out of her comfort zone.  

The appointment Lisa had been looking forward to the most was her hair appointment with celebrity John Vial.  

‘Hair can be such a huge part of your look, it feels like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle, really,’ she said. 

She explained to the hairstylist how she stopped caring for her hair after the accident.  

‘There wasn’t much I could do with it at first to be honest, they had to cut a few bit outs that were burn, I’ve had a 30cm strip of hair shaved off,’ she said. 

‘And then I almost kinda gave up a bit on it I used to take pride in my hair so it would be nice to be able to do that again, she said. 

‘You go through a mourning process: you mourn who you used to be and having to come to terms with the new person that you are and that was quite hard,’ Lisa added. 

John put together a plan to reduce the thickness of Lisa’s hair, and how to get rid of her greying locks.  

Cherry Healey, pictured, was Lisa’s cheerleader throughout the whole process and told her she was ‘worth fighting for’ 

Odhran Shelley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the National Burns Unit, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, talked about Lisa’s case. 

‘Lisa suffered third degree burns, affecting 33 per cent, or one third, of her body,’ he said. 

‘Patients who have a burn over 30 per cent will expect that they have significant organ dysfunction, and this may cause other medical problems and make them quickly ill,’ he went on. 

‘Following a third of the body being injured, we then have to take tissue from those uninjured parts and of course this results in the patient having a much greater part of their body which is now effectively injured,’ he said. 

Lisa said she spent a total of six weeks in hospital for her burns, as well as a long ongoing treatment for her scars and her mobility.  

‘I remember looking in the mirror for the first time and being horrified,’ she said. 

‘All the burns were on the front of my body, from my chin to my knees, my surgeon had to shave half my hair to stop any risk of infection, so there was quite a long full head of hair and suddenly half of that had been shaved off,’ she said. 

John Vial, Gemma Shepphard and Hannah Martin performed their best work on Lisa, giving her the haircut, wardrobe and makeup of a confident woman 

Sharon, Lisa’s sister said: ‘I can remember seeing her in intensive care, for the first time, she was beyond recognition and that was so so difficult to cope with, so difficult for all of us as a family,’ she said. 

‘I don’t know how she keeps going, I think everyday the pain and the exhaustion is just a constant battle for her and yet you would never know, she never lets on that she’s struggling, she always has a smile on her face, she’s just an absolute inspiration to anybody,’ Sharon added. 

Lisa talked about how the accident affected her family life as well.  

‘One of the hardest thing about my accident was not able to see the children. When they could come and see me, my youngest son didn’t want me to cuddle him or touch him because of how I appeared to him,’ she said. 

Steve revealed Lisa had an extremely hard time accepting how she looked in the immediate aftermaths of her accident.  

‘Immediately after the accident she didn’t even want to have the curtains opened in the house, because she’d worry people would see her, she didn’t want to go out for long time,’ he said. 

‘It’s been a very, very long time to recovery,’ he added. 

‘The scars that are left,’ he said, ‘I think she’s moved on in other ways, but the scars are always a reminder of what it’s done too her,’ he said. 

‘I don’t think I lost who I am completely but I think it’s a much dampened down version of my old self,’ Lisa admitted. 

‘I think now I want to start thinking about how I look more, I feel like I almost had this guilt or shame that worrying about how I looked shouldn’t really have been important,’ she added. 

‘I should be pleased I was alive, it’s seven years after the accident, I’m in a place where I’m ready to embark on this journey and want to look better so that I feel more confident,’ she said. 

All hands on deck! Nilam Holmes, Dr Tapan Patel and Dr Uchenna Okoye helped with Lisa’s scars, skins and teeth 

After all these professional appointments, it was time for Lisa to discover her new self. 

Her sister Sharon and husband Steve couldn’t wait to see the way she looked either. 

‘She just fought so hard to get where she is today and she’s never given up,’ Sharon said. 

‘I’m hoping that this process will perhaps take me to a third phase of my life where I can start to move forward and enjoy life a bit more,’ Lisa said. 

Cherry couldn’t believe how good Lisa looked after her transformation. 

‘You look absolutely incredible, you look stunning, like a film star,’ she said. 

‘You look amazing and I think this is what you’ve been waiting for,’ she added. 

Lisa’s hair was styled in a long red bob by John, who also gave her a fringe.

Meanwhile, all of Nilam and Dr Tapan’s work as well as some well-applied makeup meant the scarring on her chin was barely visible. 

Gemma had dressed her in a beautiful purple dress with a graphic detail and love sleeves, which was ankle-length and flowed beautiful. 

‘Lisa when we met you told me that you had gone through so much, you had survived, but you told me you felt it was a bit vain that you care about how you looked,’ Cherry said. 

‘You’ve done an amazing, amazing thing to get through that trauma, but you are worth fighting for,’ she said. 

Seeing herself after the transformation, Lisa couldn’t believe her reflection in the mirror.  

‘Oh my goodness,’ she said, before adding: ‘It’s a lovey dress, I love my hair, I can’t believe the colour.

‘I cant really see the scarring much at all now, I look so different,’ she added. 

Cherry told Lisa the public now put her age as 46, a year younger than she actually was.

‘Its been a bit of a roller coaster just because the emotions i felt through it all,’ Lisa told the camera. 

‘Each procedure I had, each step has brought me closer to the end goal which is to feel like I used to feel and feeling more coincident,’ she said. 

‘I got some of the old me back,’ she added. 

Her sister Sharon cried upon seeing Lisa after her transformation.  

‘Look at you, you just look amazing, fantastic I love your hair,’ she said, while Sharon, Lisa and her husband embraced. 

‘I am a bit overwhelmed, it’s almost like you can’t help look at yourself loads of time, it doesn’t feel real,’ Lisa told them. 

‘The transformation is incredible, she’s been much more confident and radiating that,’ Steve said. 

‘I’ve really been excited to see what she looks like and to see her just smiling and being comfortable and happy with how she looks is just incredible,’ Sharon said. 

Lisa said she had learned a lot from her 10 Years Younger experience.  

‘I think the challenge for me was to learn to love and value yourself even if you might have changed forms slightly,’ she said. 

10 Years Younger in 10 Days is available on My5.  

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